Looks like a US jury boobed with this damages award
An anti-psychotic drug allegedly caused a male claimant to grow breasts, but did the court overreact?
US juries do not throw the book at big corporations that anger them. They lob a whole library. A damages award of $8bn against Johnson & Johnson this week proved the point. Alarmed investors marked the shares down 3%. Were they overreacting?
Philadelphia jurors certainly were. An anti-psychotic drug sold by the drugs and healthcare giant allegedly caused a male claimant to grow breasts. This would have been miserable. But the award was clearly disproportionate.
Carl Tobias, a law professor at the University of Richmond, points out that steep awards dished out by US juries are almost always reduced on appeal. A 2003 Supreme Court ruling means punitive damages should usually be no more than 10 times compensatory damages. The latter are less prone to inflation than the other sort. They are set according to such factors as a claimant’s lost income and disability costs...